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M4/M1014 Dead Animal Questions

Doc Watson

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I know I am beating a rotting animal here but I am new to Benelli and, except for a few familiarization tries with an 870 in the late 80's, fairly new to the shotgun in general.


My interest in the whole M4/M1014 is a result of asking around here in Iraq about the weapon and it seems to have a thumbs-up for the most part. Ergo, my interest in owning one of these weapons.


In my own defense, I've spent about a week reading everything via a search on M1014 (and got everything the man has posted! ;) ) and on M4 (a much more productive search!)


So, now to the dead animal series of questions:


(Feel free to tackle separately and according to your own expertise and experiences. I understand YMMV)


1. The M1014 - Is the stock collapsable or not and is it replaceable with a collapsable one or not?


2. What is/are the most significant differences between the two shotgun models (M4vs. M1014)


3. What is the current status of the whole tube extension issue and the collapsable stock with Benelli M4's and the ATF?


4. Can anyone pass along thier own experience with the Surefire 80 Picatinny Rails? How easy were they to install and how well do they work?


5. Lastly, is there anyone who can recommend a 3-5 day Tactical Shotgun Course from thier own experience?



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whats up Doc???????? I had my stock machined so it would totally collapse and a mid position,,second:the M1014 is way over on the M4 ,,the M1014 has alot better quality control than the otherrrr plus you can shoot anything through the M1014,,thirdly,,get a magazine extension no matter what before any thing else first.Forget those fancy in the way gadget holders,,,good mags like Swat and Soldier of Fortune have ads for Tac Courses,,,later M1014 :cool: PS=M1014s are never an old topic,, ;)


[ 08-24-2005, 06:05 PM: Message edited by: M1014 ]

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1. You need the 11707 model in order to simply drop the collapsible stock onto the weapon. With some gunsmithing, any of the older models can accept it. I couldn't tell you honestly what the case is legally.


2. The M4 (there are two models, the 11703 and the 11707) has 4 barrel ports as well as a removeable choke. I've been beating on my 11703 for about a year now and have had very little trouble. I'm pushing close to 5000 rounds through it of assorted ammo including high base 3" shoulder buster slugs. I believe the arguement that the 4 port design is inferior is off base. I believe that the ARGO system regulates the proper gas pulse reguardless how much gas is dumped into the system. Reguardless of the load, the weapon is cycled exactly the same assuming the minimum preasure is met.

The 4 port design scavanges more gas from the barrel to properly operate low recoil loads, and to lessen the initial gas pulse into the gas system.

Most failures have been documented as metalurgical failures of parts.


3. Whole issue is up in the air and no one wants to deal with it.


4. Haven't even seen a good picture of the M80 rail system. However, the FCAM system from Mesa Tactical that I've helped work on is VERY promising. I have the prototype right now, and it does far more then any current rail system on the market.


5. Can't help you there.



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Originally posted by stevenb:

I believe that the ARGO system regulates the proper gas pulse reguardless how much gas is dumped into the system. Reguardless of the load, the weapon is cycled exactly the same assuming the minimum preasure is met.

The 4 port design scavanges more gas from the barrel to properly operate low recoil loads, and to lessen the initial gas pulse into the gas system.

Hi Steve, quick question about the gas plugs. Do you notice much gas residue at the front of the gas plugs which would indicate the gas plug caps are moving forward against the encased spring to relieve excess pressure out the front as intended ?


I shot about 200 rounds of assorted shot, buck and slugs in my first outing with my 11703 and was shocked when I stripped it for cleaning and could see very little evidence of gas residue coming out the front end. There was ample fouling on the pistons and blown back at the receiver and handguards, yet the front end of each gas plug was quite clean with very little residue or soot inside the plugs near the holes or pins.


Other than maybe unscrewing the plugs for cleaning, have you ever dissassembled the plugs themselves, removing the cap, spring and spacer? The spring on my plugs seem rather stout while the recoil spring seems quite light on my M4. Tapping the butt will unlock the bolt and throw the carrier back a good inch. It doesn't seem like it takes much force to cycle the action and I am curious how those strong gas plug springs can compress to relieve excess pressure when the bolt/carrier is so easy to cycle.

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Mine sounds exactly like yours. Very little fouling is present on the front of the gas plugs. I have never disassembled the plugs themselves. I'm not even sure if it is possible without some specialized tools.

My carrier knocks back with light taps as well. Generally the weight of the carrier unlocks the bolt and allows it to travel rearward.

Generally, this is how I invision how the plugs work in the ARGO system. The pressure charge enters the ports against the pistons themselves. You'll notice the relief cuts are on the pistons. My guess is this is to prevent any overpressure and initial pulses. Fouling in general would likely take the easiest route out and that is along the pistons. My guess is that the "Auto Regulating" effects of the ARGO system only kick in if a preset dangerous pressure limit is met.

Also remember that the ARGO system is self cleaning. It basically burns off the carbon fouling continuously.


There are a couple other ideas I have about how it might work. I would really like to get some better technical information about the weapon. I should have bought that USMC field manual I saw on Ebay months ago.


Overall, as easy as it is to cycle the action by hitting it on the ground should give you a clue as to how hard the pistons should be striking the surface of the bolt carrier. I've seen pictures of peoples bolt carrier deformed and they've bound up inside of the receiver. I sheared one gas piston in half myself 50 rounds after I bought my 11703 brand new. Was it a fluke? Who knows. I can tell you that the M4 functions with a single piston though, it runs slugish, but it does run. I only found out that it was broke by the broken section of piston becoming lodged betwen a shell and the shell elevator.


You'll also notice that the pistons themselves do not move very far. They travel roughtly a 1/3 of an inch before bottoming out against the barrel relief cuts.

All in all, I am giving a lot of trust in the Benelli design, and the knowledge that the Marine Corps. are using this weapon overseas as we speak. As hard as I am on my weapons, it doesn't scratch the surface of what those men are putting them through every day.


I'm going to continue beating on mine, and if it breaks, Benelli will fix it. I'm not going to turn my combat shotgun into a safe queen. The thousands of hard rounds put through mine so far have not shown any wear and tear...


Benelli went at the M4 to make it as simple as possible. That's why things like return springs were not included on the gas pistons to maintain them at a specific point.


Sorry I cannot give specifics, just my own opinion. If you call Benelli, you'll get a different answer with every single different customer service rep.



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Hey there Steve. Go to the militec.com web site...then click on "firearms" in the left column. Once there, scroll down part way...right there in the middle after "messages from our troops." That's where I found the full Marine Corps M1014 Operator's Manual for download on PDF. Check it out. Have a good one!


[ 08-29-2005, 08:46 AM: Message edited by: usctf ]

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The SUREFIRE M80 system for the BENELLI M4 still does not exist to this date. There are none ordered or in production. SUREFIRE is still claiming "INDEFINTLY" on the wait untill production on this system even though you can buy it directly on their website!LOL I just talked to them today. The only systems available RIGHT NOW for the BENELLI are the SIDEARMOR and BRUGGER&THOMET. The B&T looks like the better designed of the two as far as being a true "foreend rail system" but I do not know of anyone who actually used or owns one to make a "real" comment on it. It is expensive, $325.00 U.S.D.

Hope this helps!!

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The one pictured is a PRE-PRODUCTION "test" system that gets sent into the field for real world use and feedback. I have also seen a M80 mounted on a BENELLI M4 in a few "trade show" pics. According to SURE-FIRE, they have not yet came up with a "Final" production version that will be error free. BENELLI shotguns are VERY PICKY when it comes to mounting aftermarket foreend or handguard light systems. If they are not perfect or the weight is off they will not cycle, ie. SUPER 90's. Usually "Marketing" comes up with ideas and puts them out much faster than "Engineering" can come up with a usuable production item to actually sell. This whole M80 fore-end is going on TWO YEARS now!LOL


[ 09-01-2005, 02:37 PM: Message edited by: WIN9639445 ]

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